The World Atlas of Wine

Santa's Big Cookbook Bag

by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson
Mitchell Beazley, 400 pp., $55

The English reading public can now create a near-perfect wine library just on the printed works of Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine. Her latest is the seventh edition of The World Atlas of Wine, written in conjunction with internationally famous wine author Hugh Johnson. This edition of the ongoing series is the first since 2007; despite its formidable size and weight (5 pounds), this book has sold 4.5 million copies worldwide, a phenomenal number for such a specialized book. There are many reasons for its success, but chief among them is the clear and un-snobby writing style of its two authors. Both Johnson and Robinson take wine seriously enough to create its finest reference books, but neither ever sinks to the common elitist gobbledygook. Everything about the book screams quality, from the superior paper to the two silk page markers. On top of that, the information is unassailable and the maps have plenty of detail to help explain the impact of geography and climate on winemaking.

My one complaint is that the Old Dominion of Virginia gets an entire chapter and Texas does not. With Texas and Virginia and three or four others all claiming to be the fifth largest wine-producing state in the country, picking just one had to be difficult. But Texas has more wineries and more acres planted, so I think we should at least have gotten equal treatment.

Robinson's other books in the same, coffeetable-busting size include American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States; Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours; and The Oxford Companion to Wine. All of these books are highly recommended for the oenophile on your list.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
MORE cookbooks
More Cookbooks for Under the Tree
Vegan Cookbooks

Melanie Haupt, Dec. 6, 2013

More Cookbooks for Under the Tree
A Scent of Champagne: 8,000 Champagnes Tasted and Rated

Wes Marshall, Dec. 6, 2013

More Food Reviews
Restaurant Review: Nori
Restaurant Review: Nori
New plant-based Japanese concept hits the spot

Melanie Haupt, Jan. 27, 2023

Review: Peruvian Restaurant Llama Kid Is an Eastside Oasis
Review: Peruvian Restaurant Llama Kid Is an Eastside Oasis
Once a virtual concept, this modern take is really solid

Melanie Haupt, July 29, 2022

More by Wes Marshall
Weekend Wine: Sparkling Wines for the Holidays
Weekend Wine: Sparkling Wines for the Holidays
Finally: the high-priced stuff

Dec. 30, 2022

Weekend Wine: Sparkling Wine for the Holidays
Weekend Wine: Sparkling Wine for the Holidays
This week: the medium prices

Dec. 23, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Gift Guide 2013

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle